The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is observed every year on October 13th. This tradition was begun by the United Nations in 1989 in order to promote both risk awareness and disaster reduction. Although the topic may sound grim, International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is an opportunity to learn, grow, and celebrate. According to the United Nations website, “the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face.”
In 2015, the United Nations adopted the Sendai Framework to guide their efforts on risk awareness and disaster reduction. This framework includes four priorities, seven targets, and thirteen guiding principles for member states to focus their energy on from 2015 through 2030. The four priorities include: understanding disaster risk, strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk, investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience, and enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, including to “build back better.” International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2020 is focused on the second priority of disaster risk governance.
Priorities in Action
Because of your support, Random Acts has been able to play a role in disaster risk reduction around the world. During our Hope 2 Haiti campaign, we made progress toward both the third priority of investing in risk reduction and the fourth priority of building back better. In the aftermath of a devastating earthquake in 2010, we committed ourselves to helping Haiti rebuild. With your aid, Hope 2 Haiti has funded the construction of the Jacmel Children’s Center, helped the Art Creation Foundation for Children to continue operation in a permanent home, and supported local projects that serve the children of Jacmel.
Our Dreams to Acts: Nicaragua campaign has also made progress with investing in risk reduction. This project funded the construction of a campus for the Free High School of San Juan del Sur, sponsored children’s theater programs with the Barrio Planta Project, and helped the Sister City Project with their construction of EcoStoves and BioSand water filters in rural Nicaragua. We worked with Casa de Tierra to ensure that the Free High School’s new campus was built using sustainable, structurally resilient practices. This step is particularly important to risk reduction. One of the United Nations’ videos about disaster risk reduction explains that each dollar invested in resilient, risk-reducing architecture saves between $4 and $7 disaster response funding as well as creates job opportunities.
When Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit the United States in 2017, Random Acts partnered with The Family Business Beer Company and The CW for our Stronger than Storms campaign. This project raised funds for effective disaster response. Together, we were able to provide direct assistance to hurricane victims, as well as make donations to local organizations. We were honored to fund the important work done by Americares, The Texas Diaper Bank, Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team, and the SPCA of Texas.
What You Can Do
Ready to take action this International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction? We put together a list of a few steps to get you started.
- Take time to learn more about the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. You can even read the full Sendai Framework here.
- Research the types of disasters that occur in your area, including risk factors, alert systems, and response measures.
- Create emergency preparedness plans for different types of disasters that occur in your area.
- Donate your time and money to organizations that support the Sendai Framework priorities every day, not just in the aftermath of a disaster.
- Spread the word! Tell your friends and family about the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction and why it matters.